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Jabber

Jabber
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Marcus Youssef
Foreword by: Dennis Foon
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2015
ISBN-10: 0889229503
ISBN-13: 9780889229501

About the Play:

Best New Text, Montreal English Language Theatre Awards 2013

Chosen in the top 30 Plays in 2013 in Toronto, Stageworthy, Toronto

Jabber is a full-length drama by Marcus Youssef. High school, like no other social space, throws together people of all histories and backgrounds, and young people must decide what they believe in and how far they are willing to go to defend their beliefs. Inside a veritable pressure cooker, they negotiate cross-cultural respect and mutual understanding. Jabber does its part to challenge appearances – and the judgements people make based on those appearances.

Like many outgoing young women, Fatima feels rebellious against parents she sees as strict. It just so happens that she is Egyptian-born and wears a hijab. When anti-Muslim graffiti appears on the walls of her school, Fatima transfers to a new school. The guidance counsellor there, Mr. E., does his best to help Fatima fit in, but despite his advice she starts an unlikely friendship with Jorah, who has a reputation for anger issues. Maybe, just maybe, Fatima and Jorah start to, like, like each other ... As their mutual attraction grows, the lines Fatima and Jorah cross as they grow closer become the subject of an intense exploration of boundaries - personal boundaries, cultural boundaries, and inherited religious and political boundaries. Fatima and Jorah discover that appearances matter; they've been exposed for their whole to images that begin to colour their relationship: images of the Middle East, the working class, and how teenage boys and teenage girls behave. Put all these reactive factors together in the social laboratory that is a high school and observe: is there a solution for Fatima and Jorah?

Jabber was commissioned by Geordie Theatre in Montreal in 2011, and premiered on tour through Quebec and the Maritimes in 2012/13, and at Young People's Theatre in Toronto the following season.

Cast: 1 woman, 2 men

What people say:

"Smartly probes the lives of high schoolers struggling with peer expectations and identity problems. As they attempt to navigate the minefield that is the high school hallway, they are warned repeatedly that actions have consequences." Winnipeg Free Press

"Not afraid to deal with difficult subject matter such as discrimination, domestic abuse, sexuality, and the danger of online sharing on social media." Charlebois Post Review

About the Playwright:

Marcus Youssef is a Canadian playwright, artistic director, and author. Born in Montreal to Egyptian parents, he has often made diversity and the ideas of difference and diversity themes in his work, some of which were co-written with friends and colleagues. His works have been performed at theatres and festivals (and school gyms) across Canada, the US, Australia and Europe. He was named the 2017 recipient of the Siminovitch Prize, Canada's most prestigious prize in Theatre. He currently lives in Vancouver British Columbia, where he continues his work with community-based advocacy programs that use writing and/or theatre as tools for effecting political and social change.

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